A strong sense of loyalty coursed through the lifeblood of the Torrente family. We looked out for each other and didn't take threats against the family for granted. Giuseppe, my papa, was regarded as the patriarch, not only for his branch of the family but all of its members, in Italy and America.
Papa's allegiance was what prompted my move to America, at least for the immediate future. There was a threat against the family, and my particular services were needed in New York to assist my favorite cousin, Gabriele, against an anticipated attack. When Gabe decided he had a mole in the American office of Golden Elite Associates, Papa dispatched me to guard his children and assist my cousin with ferreting out the traitor.
I certainly didn't anticipate I'd meet a feisty, sexy, barber who would get me out of a jam and fill my mind with lascivious thoughts to the point of distraction. I wasn't one who looked for the cottage with a picket fence, but my life was lonely. When I met him, I knew exactly what I was missing…a love of my own. He was definitely his own man, and as I began falling for him, I wondered the plausibility of trying to make him my own man.
Was I making a selfish decision to pursue Shay Barr? If so, how the hell could I ever walk away from him?
At eighteen, I ran out of Arkansas like my hair was on fire just to get away from my crazy family, and I didn't look back, making a life for myself in Little Rock before making the big leap to New York. I did a few things along the way I wasn't proud of, but we all took our knocks and lived to fight another day. I was no exception to the rule.
The only member of my family I kept in touch with was a cousin, Dani, and she was the only member of my family who knew how to find me, but it was for her benefit as much as mine that we didn't stay in close contact. I didn't want my parents, brothers, or her parents to find out where I'd landed and try to make my life miserable. It was an act of self-preservation and protection for my cousin's benefit, too.
My life had been lonely of late, and yet again, I made some dubious decisions, but they didn't hurt anyone except me, so I got back up and carried forward. It was all fine until I met a man who had me wrapped around his finger from the first 'Torrente' smile he gave me. I was useless to fight the attraction, though I was a bit leery because the man had heartbreaker written all over him.
I thought that was my only problem until said cousin showed up with an all-too-familiar story about her little brother's disappearance.
Added to all that drama was the fact I had an entire set of baggage of my own, and the salesman didn't strike me as one who made too many trips to the same sexual buffet. The fact he kept disappearing on me without any notice left me confused and worried. If he learned of all the things about me I didn't share with friends, would he run back to his beloved Italy and write a tell-all about a crazy, over-the-hill, former twink he had the misfortune to meet?
Was I stupid for thinking the suave man was attracted to me or was I just a passing fancy to occupy his time away from home? Also, where did he go when he disappeared without a word? Was he a 'boy-in-every-port' kind of guy? Could I trust him or was I as much of a fool as I believed? What was a sexy stylist supposed to do?
About the Author
Sam E. Kraemer grew up in a small town in the Midwest. She met a handsome young man who swept her off her feet and to the East Coast where she lives with her family and an aging Yorkshire Terrier named Gus.
Sam remains ever grateful to have hit the cosmic jackpot with the life she lives and gives thanks to the Universe every day for it.